Honey Clover (Melilotus albus)

Honey Clover is an import from Europe/Asia and has spread throughout the US. It is a member of the pea family and has edible pods, beans, and fresh leaves.

Honey Clover

Honey Clover

I had Honey Clover in Texas and ate fresh  leaves and beans as long as they were available.  I ate them raw but liked them cooked with egg noodles, and served with chopped tomatoes and chives served on top for a simple lunch.  This plant is in full bloom and smells very good.  It has coumarin, also in Tonka Bean which is a widely used perfume ingredient.  To use it in perfume, I need to collect the entire plant, dry, and extract the coumarin.

As a biennial plant all these bloomers will not return next year and once the seeds set it is past its glory as a perfume.  This is the quintessential honey plant and where there are acres of them, honeybees make a wonderful clover honey.

This year I would like to collect just the flowers to make a vanilla type extract.  I have not done that before  and hope it does make something to use in place of imported vanilla.  I will go out tomorrow morning with kitchen sheers and collect. If lucky, they ought to rebloom and work well for perfume.

I couldn’t resist eating some of the leaves this morning, they are mild, tasty, and nutritious.  There are plenty this year, I will have beans and leaves for a dish or two of pasta.

Medicinal reports were vague and contradictory, so I didn’t put much credence in them.  Perfume, vanilla, green vegetables and honey are a lot to offer the food forest.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
This entry was posted in Bees, Circular Economy, food forest, invasive species, perfume, permaculture, Prepper, wild edibles and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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